Understanding Outpatient Addiction Treatment 

In general, providers have two basic options to offer patients seeking help for addiction: residential (inpatient) or outpatient treatment. 

With outpatient treatment, the patient meets at a treatment center at scheduled times during the week, and then returns home after therapy. These programs have built-in accountability, requiring patients to check in for treatment and report any medications they use during the program.

Of the different types of outpatient programs available, intensive outpatient programs are some of the most comprehensive. With an intensive outpatient program (IOP), the patient checks in for treatment for nine or more hours each week. 

How Effective Is Outpatient Treatment?

One study published in Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention, and Policy suggests that an intensive outpatient program has the potential to be just as effective as residential care, provided the patient commits to the program through its completion.

Benefits Of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs at Vertava Health offer a comprehensive alternative to residential or inpatient treatment, as well as an option for a stepdown level of care. 

Outpatient programs also provide more flexibility for patients. The spectrum, intensity, setting, and duration of outpatient services can all be modified to better meet patient needs. Since individualized care is the foundation of addiction treatment, outpatient programs are well-suited for substance use disorders.

Individualized Treatment Planning

At Vertava Health, patients benefit from individualized treatment planning. Each patient begins outpatient treatment with a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment. Case managers and clinicians use this information to create a personalized treatment plan unique to the patient.

We use a number of treatment modalities to address addiction, including:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – This evidence-based therapy explores how thoughts and behaviors relate to substance use, helping patients change negative behaviors by modifying their thinking. CBT also teaches coping mechanisms and strategies for relapse prevention.
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – The ultimate goal of DBT is to help patients build a balanced life worth living. It starts with teaching the patient to accept themselves, and then focuses on mindfulness and managing emotions to elicit change in self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse.
  • motivational interviewing – Trained counselors use questions to motivate change in patients, all while helping reduce any negative opinions and thinking the patient has about addiction treatment.
  • family therapy – Families are a critical part of addiction treatment, and family therapy helps improve communication and family dynamics to support the patient in recovery. 
  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT) – MAT combines the behavioral components listed above with medications approved to address opioid and alcohol use disorders.

With personalized treatment planning, Vertava Health treatment programs lead to better patient outcomes and long-term success in recovery.

Additional Services Offered In Outpatient Treatment

Between 40 and 60 percent of patients who complete treatment will relapse within the first year after graduation. Non-medical and behavioral support in an outpatient program help limit the risk of relapse following treatment.

Our therapists, counselors, and case managers help each patient develop recovery plans to help them stay on track after treatment. Outpatient programs are available as a stepdown option for graduates of our residential programs who require further treatment and care.

We offer many additional services to limit the risk of relapse by building support around the patient. Depending on the patient’s recovery plan, services may include:

  • job-placement assistance
  • peer support groups 
  • sober networking
  • individual counseling and group therapy
  • case management services

Who Is A Good Candidate For Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment works well for patients who have mild or moderate substance use disorders as defined by the DSM-5. This means the patient shows two to five symptoms of the disease. Patients with mild to moderate addiction may not require around-the-clock supervision or intensive medical detox support. 

Patients who have completed a residential program can also benefit from a stepdown level of outpatient care. The patient will transition from inpatient treatment to an intensive outpatient program because they need more treatment services to maintain abstinence and achieve better health overall.

If you have a patient who is a good candidate for outpatient care, or if you want more information about our intensive outpatient programs, connect with Vertava Health today.

Sources:

SAMHSA/CSAT—Chapter 3. Intensive Outpatient Treatment and the Continuum of Care – Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment 

Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, And Policy—Differential Effectiveness Of Residential Versus Outpatient Aftercare For Parolees From Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Treatment Programs

US National Library of Medicine—Rates And Predictors Of Relapse After Natural And Treated Remission From Alcohol Use Disorders